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Wetlands Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I start a wetland bank?
  2. Do I need a permit to dig a pond?
  3. How can you call that a wetland?
  4. How long does it take to go through the wetland replacement plan process?
  5. I got approval from another agency, why do I need to get approval from the County?

How do I start a wetland bank?

A wetland bank is a private enterprise with state oversight, there is no guarantee of return on investment. In general creation of a wetland bank involves a landowner creating new wetland on their property and depositing the “wetland credits” in to the state wetland bank. The credits are then purchased and utilized by individuals to mitigate for approved wetland impacts.

The process to establish a wetland banks starts with contacting the Benton County Department of Development offices for a discussion of the possibilities of the site. Establishment of a wetland bank requires a large amount of technical information prior to the state recognition of the wetland and the potential selling of the credits. This technical information would include but not limited to: wetland delineation, property boundary and elevation survey, legal description, etc. which is all subject to local and state review. A landowner proposing to undertake the establishment of a wetland bank should be prepared to expend capital prior to any potential return on investment.

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Do I need a permit to dig a pond?

Yes, If you are requesting to know if your planned activity is in compliance with regulation then submit a application.

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How can you call that a wetland?

Wetlands are identified and defined by the convergence of three parameters: hydric soils, a predominance of hydrophytic vegetation and the presence of hydrology. The process to define the boundary of the wetland is called delineation. During delineation a site is investigated for the periodic presence of the three criteria. As the common image of a wetland is “ducks and cattails”, individuals are often surprised that other areas also meet the criteria. These areas are often capable of being walked through and remain dry during a portion of the growing season. If you are interested to know if wetlands exist on property then delineation is required and the results submitted and reviewed by Benton County.

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How long does it take to go through the wetland replacement plan process?

Applications submitted to Benton County Department of Development by law are required to be “processed” within 60-days unless extended, for legitimate reasons an additional 60-day period. The Department of Development typically processes a wetland replacement plan application within 45 days and a wetland exemption application within 30 days of submittal. The review time on an application depends on its’ complexity and current volume of applications going through the county offices.

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I got approval from another agency, why do I need to get approval from the County?

Benton County is mandated to administer the MN Wetland Conservation Act. This state law is in addition to other federal, state and local “wetland” regulation that may exist. Approval for another agency does not mean automatic approval under the MN Wetland Conservation Act. A common analogy for multiple jurisdictions is income tax requirements at the federal, state and sometimes local level.

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